Buckeye Health Plan Reminds Parents to Keep Immunizations In Mind As School Year Kicks Off

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Parents Need to Ensure Kids’ Immunizations Are Up-to-Date Especially For New Kindergartners, as Central Ohio Saw Outbreaks of Both Measles and Mumps Last Year

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Many schools have first-day exclusion rules, which means that children who aren’t caught up with their immunizations may not be allowed to attend when school begins.

Buckeye Health Plan is reminding parents to ensure schoolchildren have up-to-date immunizations, especially those entering kindergarten. All required immunizations are covered for members under the Healthchek program .

“Many schools have first-day exclusion rules, which means that children who aren’t caught up with their immunizations may not be allowed to attend when school begins in August,” said Dr. Brad Lucas, Chief Medical Officer, Medical Affairs, Buckeye Health Plan. “Parents should call their children’s doctor now to ensure they have the vaccinations they need to attend school.”

Ohio has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country for measles, mumps and rubella, with 86 percent of 19 to 35-month-old children vaccinated against the deadly diseases . Top states have rates of 96 percent or above. Last year, there were outbreaks of both measles and mumps in the central Ohio area.

“When immunization rates decline, an outbreak can occur,” continued Lucas. “These recent outbreaks in central Ohio underscore the need for parents and caregivers to pay attention to the recommended guidelines and get young children vaccinated against these life-threatening diseases for the safety of not only their child but other children in the public school setting and for the general public’s safety, as well.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children get two doses of the MMR vaccine, the first at 12 months to 15 months of age and the second between 4 and 6 years of age. A complete schedule of required immunizations is available here. A change this year is that the meningitis vaccination, which was previously recommended, is now required for all students entering 6th and 12th grades. Because of the sudden onset of symptoms and even death within 24 hours in some cases of meningitis, the immunization is now required.

Healthchek is Ohio Medicaid’s name for the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program and includes well visits and immunizations, as well as vision, dental and hearing screenings. Members who participate may be eligible to receive benefits paid directly to their CentAccount cards. For more information, visit http://www.buckeyehealthplan.com/for-members/members/rewards-program/.

About Buckeye Health Plan
Buckeye Health Plan is a managed care plan that has been providing services in Ohio since 2004. Buckeye is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise offering both core Medicaid and specialty services. Information regarding Buckeye Health Plan is available via the Internet at http://www.buckeyehealthplan.com. Buckeye can be followed on Twitter as Buckeye_Health.

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Kate McAndrews
Buckeye Health Plan
+1 614-220-4900 Ext: 24061
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